In response to a second report commissioned by the city of Beverly Hills, Metro officials have again said that they stand by the agency’s seismic and tunneling safety reports on the Westside Subway Extension project.
Specifically, Metro officials stand by their conclusion that it is safer to build a subway station along Constellation Boulevard in Century City to avoid active earthquake fault zones and that tunneling under parts of the Beverly Hills High School campus to reach a Constellation station can be done safely and without hindering future development on the school grounds.
The second report was commissioned by the city of Beverly Hills — which opposes tunneling under the high school campus — and was written by the engineering firm Shannon and Wilson. In many respects, the Shannon and Wilson report agrees with Metro’s findings — in particular that tunneling under the high school can be done safely.
Metro’s response to the report is posted after the jump; here is a pdf file for download. And here is Metro’s response to another report commissioned by Beverly Hills prepared by the engineering firm Exponent.
The Shannon and Wilson report also recommended that Metro investigate some other options and locations for the Century City station. In its response, Metro found that it was not practical to move the Century City station to a location east of Century Park East to try to avoid earthquake faults — part of the station would likely still be in an earthquake fault zone and the station entrance would be 700 feet east of Century Park East, a long walk from the center of Century City.
In addition, the Shannon and Wilson report recommended that Metro investigate building the subway at street level along Santa Monica Boulevard. Metro discounts that possibility for several reasons, among them: the station platform would still be in an active earthquake fault zone, a train at street level would disrupt traffic on Santa Monica Boulevard and what remains of the old rail right-of-way along Santa Monica Boulevard is not long enough to accommodate a station and the trenches needed to bring the rails to the surface on both ends of the stations.
The Metro Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on an approval of the Westside Subway Extension’s Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report at their April 26 meeting; the Board’s Planning Committee is to consider the study at its 1 p.m. meeting today. As part of the vote, the full Board will select the alignment and station locations for the project.
Here is the Metro response to the Shannon and Wilson report: